My very first experience of “care work” was when I was 14 and spent a great deal of time with my great-aunt as she was moved to be near the family. Even though the transition was unsettling for her, I found it very fulfilling to help her and make her feel comfortable, especially when I was able to giggle with her about old times. This early experience inspired me to go into care work in a more formal setting during my work experience week in high school.
I heard about Helping Hands from a friend who was already working for them, and after looking into the organisation further, I felt impressed by their values. Taking a leap of faith, I jumped on a plane and flew over from Australia to start my training. The training week exceeded all expectations. The Trainers and Recruitment girls were highly experienced individuals with so much knowledge. I felt really comfortable asking any questions and finished the week feeling really confident and clear about roles that I could potentially undertake. All the staff within the company I have interacted with have been cheerful and supportive, especially my Line Manager whose first question whenever we talk on the phone is “are you alright?”.
I will never forget my first placement; it was with a delightful lady who had dementia. Her family was fantastic, really friendly and helpful. Even though most days I had to remind her who I was, we did bond in a professional way and shared many laughs throughout the two weeks. When I said goodbye, she grabbed my hand and said she would miss me and hoped I would come back soon. I was so touched and felt the joy I saw in her from my care was exactly what giving is all about.